Play, an Important Tool for your Child’s Growth and Learning
Series: Achieving Development Milestones through Play – 2-4 months
Age: 2-4 months
From birth, children are instilled with the idea of “play”. Playtime is an amazing phenomenon because not only it is fun but also a learning experience that is critical for ones developmental milestones.
The American Academy of Pediatrics released a report recently called “The Power of Play: A Pediatric Role in Enhancing Development in Young Children” where doctors were recommended to prescribe more playtime because of its crucial role in their academic and emotional growth. Play also helps in developing a child’s cognitive, linguistic and social skills for the real world.
As a parent, we often make play work. Don’t forget to make it fun!
Through this series of articles focusing on different age groups, we will break down the developmental milestones your child can achieve through play, from curiosity play as a newborn to pretend play as a 3-year old. We will also suggest some fun activities you can try with your child to further contribute to the development!
So let the fun begin!
Developmental Milestone at 2-4 Months
At this age, your baby is learning about the extent of their senses like touch, sound and sight. They are learning to move their arms and legs, make their own sounds, and touch faces and hair. The best you can do for your baby is provide them with variety and creative outlets.
Playing with Rattle
Give them a rattle to play with. They might put it in their mouth or shake it. The point is to get them to interact with it and see how they would interact with it.
Tissue Discovery Box
Get a tissue box and fill it up with an odd assortment of everyday things like a sock, fruit, a rattle or a water bottle. Place it in front of your baby and watch them try to figure out how to get them out and then puzzle over what they are. This is a great sensory and cognitive exercise to try with your baby.
Gently tie a helium inflated balloon to your baby’s knee and watch how they interact with the balloon. It is a great way for your baby to learn about cause and effect (what happens when I move my knee?), movement and eye tracking.
Kick the Ball
Have your baby lie down and place soft objects like a ball or pillow at their feet. When they feel the object, they will feel the need to kick it. A great way to develop baby motor skills.
Mirror, Mirror on the Wall
Put your baby in front of a mirror and enjoy their interaction with their reflection. Get in front of the mirror yourself and see if they will recognize your reflection. Another great exercise for developing motor and visual skills.
Finger Puppet Show
A simple interactive and visual play you can do with your baby. You don’t need to be Vincent Van Gogh. Your baby is learning about visuals so they won’t judge your art skills.
Guess the Texture
Switch up the texture of the toys your baby plays with on a daily basis. Introduce a fuzzy ball or a feather or different textured cloths. Rub them on your baby’s skin and see how they react to the feeling. It’s a fun interactive play between you and your baby and also stimulates their nervous system.
What’s that Sound?
Choose any object that makes a distinct sound (a ball with a bell, a rattle, a set of keys, etc) and shake it close to your baby while they are seated. Watch as your baby tries to figure out where that sound is coming from. Once they’ve found the source, change the place and shake your object again. This is a stimulating visual and audio activity to try out.
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